ICO how-to guide

Starting an ICO? Make sure to follow this step-by-step guide in order to launch a high-quality ICO or token sale.


Raising funds via token sale (or ICO) is a new form of investing. So far investing in startups has been limited to VC funds and business angels.

With the rise of cryptocurrencies and smart contract blockchains (such as Ethereum) raising funds has been accelerated, partly automated and most important: democratized.

HowToICO.com aims to provide essential advice for everyone who are planning to raise funds via token sale or ICO. Below you can read a simple version of topics you need to cover in your token sale (an extended version in form of an e-book is in development - stay tuned).

Topics to cover in your token sale

  • Present your idea in a short, clear and simple to understand way.
  • Prepare a whitepaper describing your idea (and also other topics mentioned below).
  • Figure out a simple but effective slogan which will be easy to remember.
  • Every business needs to make money, how will you make it?
  • Have a simple and clear business model and don’t make things complicated.
  • Use numbers to show viability of your business model (but be realistic).
  • Research your competition.
  • Find out what they do and how can you differentiate.
  • Check both crypto and traditional (non-crypto) competition.
  • What’s the project’s roadmap?
  • Make it realistic, don’t bullshit.
  • Be specific, set concrete milestones.
  • Ideas are worth nothing without someone capable executing it properly.
  • Set up a good team with the necessary knowledge and experience in your business field.
  • Whatever you lack in team, compensate with advisors and outsourced partners (such as legal, smart contract development, security & audit).
  • Describe your token purpose and role within your business (e.g. utility token).
  • Are tokens issued on some existing smart contract blockchain (such as Ethereum) or do you have your own blockchain?
  • What's the max amount of tokens? Can they be created in any way even after the token sale?
  • Basic info such as start and end date, minimum threshold, maximum cap etc.
  • What is the investment needed for?
  • What is the token distribution (how much are sold to the public, how many for the team etc.)
  • This is something a lot of projects neglect, but in fact a lot of effort has to be put into marketing. Consider hiring a marketing agency.
  • Prepare and execute a marketing strategy (outsource if you don’t know how to).
  • Present yourself as a thought leader in your field (via blog posts, talks at events etc.)
  • Have a legal expert in your team or an outsourced legal advisor.
  • Put Terms & Conditions and Risk Warning on your website.
  • Figure out if KYC/AML compliance is needed in your case.
  • Fight phishing attempts and protect yourself & your investors.
  • Secure your wallets (options: 2FA, multisig, hardware wallet, cold wallet etc.)
  • Hire a specialist for security audit.

A more thorough e-book is coming soon. Leave your email below in order to be notified when it’s published.